The Kansai Region

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Kansai Region - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Horyu-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple is the jewel in the crown of classical Japanese architecture. In the morning, elderly locals on their way to work pray in front...Read More

  • 2. Kasuga Taisha

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Famous for the more than 2,000 stone mantoro (lanterns) that line its pathways, Kasuga Taisha is a monument to the Shinto tradition of worshipping...Read More

  • 3. Todai-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Completed in AD 752, this temple complex was conceived by Emperor Shomu in the 8th century as the seat of authority for Buddhist Japan. An earthquake...Read More

  • 4. Chugu-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple was originally the home of Prince Shotoku's mother in the 6th century and is now a Buddhist nunnery. It houses an amazing wooden...Read More

  • 5. Ikuta Shrine

    Chuo-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Legend has it that this shrine was founded by Empress Jingu in the 3rd century, making it one of Japan's oldest. An impressive orange torii...Read More

  • 6. Isshin-ji Temple

    Tenno-ji-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The ultramodern gate and fierce guardian statues of Isshin-ji Temple are a stark contrast to the nearby Shitenno-ji Temple. Dating back to 1185...Read More

  • 7. Kofuku-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Kofuku-ji Temple's Five-Story Pagoda dominates the skyline. Built in 1426, it's an exact replica of the original pagoda that Empress Komyo...Read More

  • 8. Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple was founded in 747 by Empress Komyo (701–760) in gratitude for the recovery of her sick husband, Emperor Shomu. Only the Main Hall...Read More

  • 9. Shitennoji Temple

    Tenno-ji-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Tenno-ji, as this temple is popularly known, is one of the most important historic sights in Osaka and the oldest temple in Japan. Founded in...Read More

  • 10. Sumiyoshi Taisha Grand Shrine

    Sumiyoshi-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In a city of mariners it's no surprise that locals revere Sumiyoshi Taisha, dedicated to the guardian deity of sailors. According to legend...Read More

  • 11. Toshodai-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The main entrance to Toshodai Temple, which was built in AD 751, is called the Path of History, since in Nara's imperial days dignitaries and...Read More

  • 12. Yakushi-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The two pagodas that tower over Yakushi Temple are an analogy of past and present Japan. Yakushi-ji's East Pagoda dates from 1285, and has such...Read More

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